Few cheeses are more renowned than Parmigiano Reggiano, and no other cheese can imitate the robust taste of a freshly cracked wheel. Parmigiano-Reggiano is a D.O.P. (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta, or Protected Designation of Origin) product, meaning that it can be produced only in the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy and its qualities result from the unique combination of natural and human elements found in this area.
Parmigiano Reggiano is carefully made by certified cheese makers nearly the same way today as it was 700 years with unpasteurized milk from cows fed only grasses and hay. Giant Eagle buys Parmigiano Reggiano from a single cheese house just outside of the town of Bussetto, where a father and son team hand craft each cheese wheel, select the best ones for the special export fire brand, and age for 24 months. The extra long aging process creates flavor-enhancing enzymes that naturally boost other flavors in any dish.
Parmigiano Reggiano is a healthy cheese choice that’s rich in calcium, phosphorus, micro elements and vitamins. Due to the aging process and enzymes, this cheese is naturally lactose free and highly digestible for all ages.
Parmigiano Reggiano has a sharp, salty taste and, when grated over classic Italian dishes, salads, or other foods, lends a distinctive flavor that cannot be matched.
- Try it freshly chunked with seasonal or dried fruits or drizzle with honey or good balsamic vinegar.
- Because of its hard, gritty texture, use a sharp knife to break off a chunk of cheese rather than slicing straight through it.
- To grate the cheese, break off a chunk and bring it to room temperature. Use a coarse grater for pasta and salads and a fine grater for soups. Don’t pre-grate as the cheese will lose flavor.
- Grate over grilled zucchini, butternut squash or pears or into your meatloaf mix for added flavor
- Use the rind to flavor soups (remove rind before serving)
- Don’t be alarmed by tiny crystals on your cheese. As this cheese ages, proteins break down and re-form into crystals. These crystals are a signature of finely made and well handled cheese.
- Pairs well with dry fresh white wines, spumante and medium-body red wines.
- Storage: Exposure to air causes cheese to dry out and lose flavor. Keep cheese wedges tightly wrapped in parchment paper or aluminum foil. Store in cheese or vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Do not freeze.